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Although the degree of support varies, it’s very common for companies to have some form of in-house hardware support team. We’ve seen this vary from just a help desk, with no hands on support of hardware, to a sophisticated repair operation with many bench technicians dedicated to repairing IT hardware that is shipped in from remote locations.
Most companies though, fit somewhere between these two models. It makes sense to have some kind of in-house support, even if it’s just screening broken hardware that is returned just to make sure that it does indeed need fixing and it’s not an end-user problem. The advantages of going much further than this with an in-house support team tend to taper off pretty quickly though. Hiring qualified “IT Repair Technicians” is normally beyond the core business of most companies. Apart from the initial investment in hiring and work benches and repair tools and so on, Technicians will need to keep up to date with new technologies and equipment repairs and ongoing training will always be required.
So, at some point it makes sense to hand off hardware maintenance and repairs to a specialized repair company. Look for a company with a track record in your market and experience with your specific hardware. Ask about their employees too – do they have the appropriate qualifications (For example; Repair Techs should have at least a two year Electronics Degree), and how long have they been with the company? Such companies will also normally have many industry contacts and access to a wide range of parts that you may not be able to source.
Many major companies find that it helps to have a limited in-house hardware support team, but at some point you need to hand off repairs to a third party who specialize in hardware maintenance and management. You need to carefully decide what maintenance model works the best for you.